Eating Gluten Free in New Orleans

We were in New Orleans where much of the food is cream based and fried and definitely not gluten free. I was leery about finding gluten-free food, but my fears were unfounded. Using our favorite app, FindMeGlutenFree, we were able to eat without getting sick and most importantly, to sample and enjoy some of the local food for which New Orleans is famous.

Where and What We Ate:

Cafe du MondeThe coffee is gluten free, but the beignets, a square piece of dough fried and covered with powdered sugar, are not.

Jacques ImosThough the gluten-free menu was brief and somewhat misleading, the waiter filled in the gaps, and we discovered several gluten-free options, including Cajun Bouillabaisse (though it comes with bread so be sure to tell the waiter), Shrimp Creole, and Lamb.

Meals from the Heart Cafe: We tried the gluten-free blueberry pancakes and a gluten-free breakfast sandwich at this cafe. Even the po’boys can be made gluten free. We sat at a counter in the middle of French Market, chatted with the owner, and watched the people go by.

Mother’s Restaurant: We sampled the many different foods that New Orleans and the South are famous for, including red beans and rice, chicken jambalaya, turnip greens, grits, and shrimp creole. If you go, be sure to avoid the gumbo, fried chicken, fried fish, po’boys, and desserts.

Mr. B’s BistroMost of Mr. B’s dinner items are gluten free, including Mr. B’s Barbecued Shrimp (just be sure they don’t add any bread), the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Grits, and Wood Grilled Fish. Be aware of the Panko crusted fish specials, desserts (except the ice cream), and the basket of bread.

The restaurants in New Orleans are many. And so are the gluten-free options. We will be back!

After the Party: Touring New Orleans on Ash Wednesday

When planning a trip to visit NOLA, we did the opposite of what most tourists do. We arrived after the party. The days were cool in February, but sunny. The crowds were there, but not overwhelming and not unruly. Here’s a glimpse into what our family of four (including two teens) saw and did during our less than 48-hour visit.

Bead Trees: We exclaimed when we saw our first bead tree, though its blossoms were few. We discovered more bead trees as we traveled on the Saint Charles Streetcar along the previous day’s parade route.

Bourbon Street: We meandered down Bourbon Street, dodging the partiers, sampling the pralines, admiring the art in the windows. The lights danced around us, the music ever present, the restaurants teeming with people.

Cafe du Monde: We walked right in and sat right down, avoiding the infamous lines of warmer days. We drank the chicory coffee and ate the famous beignets in the room tinted green.

Masks: In French Market, we viewed and compared, selected and haggled, looking for the perfect masks to bring back to New England.

Jazz: Unable to get tickets before we arrived, we waited in line at Preservation Hall, the last people into the 8 p.m. show. We crouched and peered from the courtyard into the crowded room – our feet tapping, our eyes dancing, our faces lit with the joy emanating from the musicians as they played traditional New Orleans jazz just a few feet away. Those with reserved seats were able to sit cross legged on the floor right in front of the band, with an unobstructed view of the tuba and sax, the drum and cornet. The next afternoon, we listened to jazz on the street and in Jackson Square.

Saint Charles Streetcar: We rode the streetcar from the French Quarter through the Garden District during the day and at night, accompanied by tourists, natives, and students (Tulane University and Loyola University are both located just outside the Garden District). 

To find out where we ate, check out next week’s post.